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PAC-12 Fans on DIRECTV still being shutout

by Jack Berkins on June 30, 2013

Still no PAC 12 on DIRECT

You still can't watch the Pac-12 Network on DIRECTV.

It’s tough enough cheering for your favorite teams these days, but imagine not being able to see them in action or get the inside scoop (well, that actually might be a good thing for some :)). That’s the sad reality if you follow any of the teams to the left and have DIRECTV. Not surprisingly, it boils down to financial issue — distribution often does.

The PAC-12 spent a pretty penny starting up their own network and obviously they want it seen by as many folks as possible. While they were able to come to terms with EVERY other TV provider (DISH, Charter, Comcast, etc.), DIRECTV has always been a sticking point…and it doesn’t seem to be headed in the right direction. According to the Pac-12 Networks’ new president, Lydia Murphy-Stephans, on the likelihood of landing a deal: “I’m not optimistic, but that won’t stop me from continuing to negotiate.”

Bummer. I happen to have DISH and being a Pac-12 grad, really dig all the new programming on the Pac-12 Network. In addition to upwards of 1000 live events planned for 2013, they’re heavily investing in original programming. From insider-type shows – like Hard Knocks – to personal retrospectives on a wide variety of athletes (including those in the “mid/low tier” sports who deserve a ton more attention), if you love your college action, it just doesn’t get much better.

From what I hear, they’re also planning to introduce more specialty news/bio channels, covering events such as the Olympics and other seasonal sports. They won’t be your typical score and interview shows, focusing more on the day-to-day stuff athletes endures before, during and after competition (win or lose). With an over-abundance of sports channels these days (FOX is just about to launch their new 24-hr sports channel), specialization is key. Both the MLB and NFLNetwork have done a great job embracing that and the Pac-12 Network is clearly well on its way.

Back to reality, all that cool programming makes this DIRECTV issue all the more tough to swallow. So, what to do? Well, if you’re a die-hard Pac-12 fan (or alumnus), you gotta decide whether one channel is reason enough to switch…or to add a second provider (yup, I had a buddy add DISH to his DIRECTV plan just for the Pac-12 Network). He’s borderline nuts when it comes to college ball, but you’re in the same boat, the cheapest DISH plan to include the Pac-12 Network is America’s Top 120 (at $24.99/mo). Option B is to sponge off a friend or your local watering hole on Saturdays.

Hopefully, a deal gets completed soon and this all becomes a moot point, but in the meantime, speak up DIRECTV and Pac-12 fans. Give your customer service rep (preferably a manager) a call and voice your opinion…don’t be afraid to do the same with the Pac-12 Network. The more heat they both receive, the better off we’ll all be in due time.

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